A History of Counterinsurgency
by Gregory Fremont-Barnes, Editor
May 2015, 798pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
2 volumes, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-0424-3
$158, £122, 138€, A217
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-0425-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

What lessons were learned from U.S. counterinsurgency efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan?

This two-volume history of counterinsurgency covers all the major and many of the lesser known examples of this widespread and enduring form of conflict, addressing the various measures employed in the attempt to overcome the insurgency and examining the individuals and organizations responsible for everything from counterterrorism to infrastructure building.

How and when should counterinsurgency be pursued as insurgency is growing in frequency and, conversely, while conventional warfare continues to decline as a means by which political rivals seek to impose their will upon each other? What lessons from the past should today’s policymakers, strategists, military leaders, and soldiers in the field keep in mind while facing off against 21st-century insurgents?

This two-volume set offers a comprehensive history of modern counterinsurgency, covering the key examples of this widespread and enduring form of conflict. It identifies the political, military, social, and economic measures employed in attempting to overcome insurgency, examining the work of the individuals and organizations involved, demonstrating how success and failure dictated change from established policy, and carefully analyzing the results. Readers will gain valuable insight from the detailed assessments of the history of counterinsurgency that demonstrate which strategies have succeeded and which have failed—and why.

After an introductory essay on the subject, each chapter provides historical background to the insurgency being addressed before focusing on the specific policies pursued and actions taken by the counterinsurgency force. Each section also provides an assessment of those operations, including in most cases an analysis of lessons learned and, where appropriate, their relevance to counterinsurgency operations today. The set’s coverage spans modern counterinsurgencies from Europe to Asia to Africa since 1900 and includes the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan today. Its wide, international approach to the subject makes the set a prime resource for readers seeking specific information on a particular conflict or a better understanding of the general theories and practices of counterinsurgency.


  • Provides an extremely broad coverage of counterinsurgency that spans the period from 1900 to the present day and addresses geographical areas such as Algeria, India, Northern Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan, Malaya, Cyprus, Vietnam, and many other regions and countries
  • Supplies historical and geographical perspectives that enable the reader to examine each chapter as an independent case study and compare and contrast each event with others to draw lessons across time
  • Includes an extensive bibliography that covers all aspects of modern counterinsurgency-based themes, including geographical regions, theory, and tactics
Gregory Fremont-Barnes, PhD, is senior lecturer in war studies at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, UK, where a third of officer cadet teaching focuses on insurgency and counterinsurgency. His other work on counterinsurgency on behalf of the Ministry of Defence regularly takes him to the Middle East, Africa, and South America. His published works include ABC-CLIO's The Encyclopedia of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars: A Political, Social, and Military History and The Encyclopedia of the American Revolutionary War: A Political, Social, and Military History. Fremont-Barnes has written and edited extensively on the topics of British colonial warfare, the Napoleonic Wars, the Falklands War, and a wide range of other military and naval subjects spanning the 18th to the 20th centuries. He holds a doctorate in modern history from the University of Oxford.


"A History of Counterinsurgency is a two-volume effort that is ambitious, wide in scope, and timely. The two volumes offer a good introduction to numerous cases of counterinsurgency. . . . [T]his is a welcome addition to the burgeoning, recent literature on COIN and serves as a nice reference. The extensive 'Guide to Further Reading' at the conclusion is worthwhile on its own. Summing Up: Recommended. All readership levels."—Choice, January 4, 2016

Praeger Security International

International security in the 21st century is not a topic that can be adequately addressed in nightly news soundbites or online articles intended to be relevant for 24 hours or less. Comprehending these complex issues requires insight from foreign policy specialists, diplomats, military officials, peace scholars, historians, and security experts—participants and observers on all sides of each conflict. This series provides the tools for understanding security issues in our uncertain, unstable world.

Covering global hot spots from Iran to Venezuela and subjects ranging from terrorism and cyber warfare to food security, books in the Praeger Security International series give readers access to carefully considered and highly informed viewpoints on the critical security issues that threaten to destabilize our world. With titles authored by diplomats, academic researchers, journalists, military leaders and combatants, legal experts, psychologists, and other knowledgeable specialists, these books offer in-depth analysis and international perspectives that are unavailable in the mass media. These titles represent an invaluable resource for students, researchers, and policymakers as well as for anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of the complex issues that affect our lives and future.


• Provides reliable, comprehensive information on all matters relating to security that is ideal for students, teachers, researchers, and professionals • Offers insightful commentaries written by a diverse group of scholars and experts who provide interdisciplinary treatments of newsworthy events and important historical occurrences
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.